Kyrie Irving on Luka Doncic: ‘One of the best to ever play the game’

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks star guard Kyrie Irving had very high praise for teammate Luka Doncic after the Mavericks beat the Sacramento Kings by four points on Friday.

Doncic just turned 25 years old last month, yet he has already accomplished more from an individual standpoint than most NBA players do in their entire careers. He has five All-Star appearances, four All-NBA selections and a Rookie of the Year award to his name.

So far during the 2023-24 regular season, his sixth season in the NBA, Doncic is averaging a league-best 33.8 points per game to go along with 9.1 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game. He’s shooting 48.7 percent from the floor and 37.6 percent from 3-point range.

In the Mavericks’ win over the Kings on Friday, he dropped 26 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and two steals. Meanwhile, Irving led the team in scoring with 30 points on efficient shooting.

Dallas’ victory also marked the team’s sixth win in a row. The Houston Rockets — who are on an 11-game winning streak that dates back to the early stages of the month — are the sole team in the NBA with a longer winning streak right now.

The Mavericks’ recent play has elevated the team to the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference standings. A top-four seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs are seemingly now within the team’s reach, as Dallas trails the Los Angeles Clippers — the conference’s No. 4 seed — by only two games.

But Doncic and the Mavericks have a tough game coming up on their schedule. They will play the Rockets on Sunday in a matchup between two of the hottest teams in the league in the month of March.

While Doncic is certainly one of the best players in the league today, it’s up in the air whether he should be considered an all-time great just yet, considering he has yet to reach an NBA Finals since joining the NBA ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.